||Cultural Tour, Day Hiking, Water and Beach
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Salvador, Chapada Diamantina, and Trancoso are the three pillars of this well-balanced, gratifying sampling of Bahia, one of Brazil's Atlantic-hugging states that shines with colonial history, fun-loving culture, and mystifying landscapes.
Touching down in Salvador, you get your first taste of Bahia in the welcoming, colorful streets of the Pelourinho neighborhood, UNESCO listed for its urban planning. "Here everyone is a poet, and everyone is a musician,” says our Brazil bard, Jennine Cohen. To better understand who they are today, learn about their history and traditions: first attending a folkloric performance at Teatro Miguel Santa, and then visiting a capoeira studio where dancers’ impressive spins and kicks demonstrate an art developed by African slaves as a form of resistance.
Next it's on to Chapada Diamantina to savor vistas of unusual mesas from the Morro do Pai Inácio, to relish the lush gorges of Capão Valley, and to soak in heart-stirring waterfalls. A number of grottoes are yours to explore, some eerily dark and others bright with crystalline swimming holes. For the last act, fly to the coastal town of Trancoso, whose Quadrado, or main square, is bordered by houses painted bright hues of reds, greens, and blues. Stroll past its historic white church and languish on white-sand, semi-deserted beaches, repeating your new phrase—one of the most commonly heard in Bahia—tudo bem, or “all good.” It certainly is in such heavenly country.
Itinerary at a Glance
- Day 1:
arrive in Salvador
- Day 2:
Salvador touring, with São Joaquim market and Capoeira school
- Day 3:
fly to Chapada Diamantina, Morro do Pai Inácio hike
- Day 4:
cave exploring and swimming
- Days 5 & 6:
Capão Valley hiking
- Day 7:
fly to Salvador, leisurely afternoon
- Day 8:
fly to Trancoso
- Day 9:
visit Trancoso, beach time
- Day 10:
depart for home.